Getting back into Canoes

8:16 p.m. on September 11, 2011 (EDT)
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So...................I got these canoes and I guess it's time I got them in the water.  I haven't been in a canoe for a few years but I like being on the water and it'll come back fast, kinda like riding a horse.  In fact I think once I get back into one I'll kinda move more of my emphesis to canoes as a mover of gear rather than my legs.  I love hiking and small jaunts into the wilderness but my back and knees are not as young as they once were.  Getting the canoe's out with an emphesis on being in the back country, fishing, bringing a cooler of beer and food,  using my favoriate tents and a host of other reasons leads me to ask you all what ever you want to talk about regarding canoeing.  Books, stories, ideas,places in Washington that you all know about, equiptment, building canoes.  Feel free to talk of anything you want regarding anything that has to do with canoeing.  Below are the canoes that I currently have. 

 

I've had the Sears (the red fiberglass boat) about 10-12 years and the Colmen for about 4 years. They are both wide and long and both have transoms that are rated for a 5 hp motors.  I realize that motors are not human propelled.  I'm very much interested in hearing about what you think if that's ok, if not,that's fine tell me everything you wish.

 

The Colman  Ram-X- Scanoe is on it's side on the left.  The older fiberglass Sears & Roebuck is one the right.  Both are 15 ft 4in.  The Colman is 4O in wide while the Sears is 36 in wide.  The Coleman is rated at 660 lbs while the sears is rated at 700lbs.  Thats alot of gear and a long time out in the wilderness if one wants.
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This is the bottom of the Colman Ram-X

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The difference in the ridges on the bottoms (I'm sure they have a name) is obvious.  I belive the Colman (Above) will track a little eaiser and maybe a bit faster than the Sears below which I would think will turn a bit better.  Is that correct?  What else should I know.  I may take one out tomorrow just to play.  I do have the requset life jackets and some fine paddles that I refinished a few years back.  I will be getting a good life vest to take my dog out in.  I plan on doing a vast amount of fishing.  I have a number of 2 1/2-5hp two strokes and a number of 12 volt electric trolling moters.  I'm sure I'll have many more questions but that should do for now.
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9:38 p.m. on September 11, 2011 (EDT)
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I am pleased you opened this topic, Brian.

I haven't actually owned a canoe in years.   The last one was a 14 ft ( I think? ... might have been a 16 footer ?) Grumman Aluminum job.   Was living in central Virginia, and the go-to canoes for white-water canoeing were the Aluminum ones.   Seems as though they bounce off the big rocks quite well, without 'terminal' damage.

While in Maine a couple years ago, I visited with a girlfriend that had a cabin (they call 'em "camps", for some odd reason) on a lake.   It was small-ish, but not miniscule.   Not so heavy that I couldn't lift it easily.   Could fit two, and it tracked well.   (I think they call those "keels", Brian, on canoes ... while a kayak has "chines" more away from the center).   Modest "rocker", for manoeuverability.

She claimed it was a 'classic' and a sought-after collector's item ... but, I can't recall the name of it.

I'm afraid this post-topic is going to open-up to a bunch of "canoe-heads".   Sorta like the UL-bunch.    There are going to be guys recommending "the world's greatest canoe" ... without mentioning it probably costs $3000.

                                                        ~r2~

11:35 a.m. on September 12, 2011 (EDT)
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Years ago I used a fiberglass oldtown, 16' I think. I was able to explore a lot of the waterways here in North Florida, including the Swanee and St Mary's rivers. It was light enough that I could load it myself, and it was alot of fun. At the same time a friend had a Gruman canoe, aluminum, and it is a very solid canoe but somewhat noisy on the water, waves slapping the hull and all.

Now I use a kayak. I own 2 Carolinas by Perception, for stability and comfort I do not ever see myself going back to a canoe. I can load lots of gear for several days out, but I mostly take day trips to view the birds and other wildlife. Unexpectedly flushed a 6' gator off the bank 2 weeks ago but he was too fast for me to get a picture.

Either canoe or kayak, it is a great alternative to hiking, as you said you can bring some heavier gear or added luxuries.

11:16 p.m. on September 12, 2011 (EDT)
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Love those canoes.

Here's my boy and our Old Town Discovery 164 on a local lake. I bought it used for a song, revarnished what little wood it had and re-caned the seats. It even has a large floatation bag that can be strapped into the center for running rapids -- though I've never used it. It's gotten a fair amount of use on local lakes, saltwater estuaries and all over Lake Tahoe. I also have been known to strap on an electric trolling motor -- really helps at the end of day when you're bucking a tide. Fun stuff, inexpensive and easy to maintain.

4:15 a.m. on September 13, 2011 (EDT)
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CapitolaDan said:


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Love those canoes.

Here's my boy and our Old Town Discovery 164 on a local lake. I bought it used for a song, revarnished what little wood it had and re-caned the seats. It even has a large floatation bag that can be strapped into the center for running rapids -- though I've never used it. It's gotten a fair amount of use on local lakes, saltwater estuaries and all over Lake Tahoe. I also have been known to strap on an electric trolling motor -- really helps at the end of day when you're bucking a tide. Fun stuff, inexpensive and easy to maintain.

 Nice,  Good to see that you took a older used canoe and brought it back to life, that's the gig.  My experiance is that it makes it way more fun to use than just going and buying one new.   Thanks for the picture.  I'm very interestend in your "It even has a large floatation bag that can be strapped into the center for running rapids -- though I've never used it."  I"ve always been amazed at hearing the stories of people turning their canoe over and losing evrything they have with them.  The most important thing to me right now is to how to save my gear in the event of a rollover.  I know I can come up with a way to make the thing float and not loose my gear in the event of a roll over.  Any ideas, I know I have some, but I'll wait to express them since I'm new to the Paddling fourm.

8:18 a.m. on September 13, 2011 (EDT)
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There are flotation bags or cells available, to prevent sinking.   They stash in the bow and stern cavities  or under the seats.

Of course, you would need to lash your gear to the canoe.

                                                      ~r2~

10:48 p.m. on September 19, 2011 (EDT)
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This is a 17' Wenonah Spirit II loaded for a 50 miler on Washington's Ross Lake in the North Cascades.  My friend messed up her ankle, so her Doc said she could canoe instead of backpack. She gave $300 for this used--and it came loaded with features, right down to the adjustable tractor seats.  AWESOME BOAT!

We found out how well this boat handle full, and we learned how it handled when it had been dumped. We pulled up to shore against a log going uplake, and the wind shifted and started to pummel the boat against the log. As I was entering the boat, we hit a trough and rolled us.  NOTHING came out of the boat, including the paddles, except the passengers.  We were able to bail her, and we limped to a dock to dry out. The floatation did its job--and this boat still maneuvered well with quite of bit of water in it even in a stiff wind. I was duly impressed with this boat, and was really proud of how well we lashed our load :)

9:26 p.m. on September 20, 2011 (EDT)
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second gear said:


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This is a 17' Wenonah Spirit II loaded for a 50 miler on Washington's Ross Lake in the North Cascades.  My friend messed up her ankle, so her Doc said she could canoe instead of backpack. She gave $300 for this used--and it came loaded with features, right down to the adjustable tractor seats.  AWESOME BOAT!

We found out how well this boat handle full, and we learned how it handled when it had been dumped. We pulled up to shore against a log going uplake, and the wind shifted and started to pummel the boat against the log. As I was entering the boat, we hit a trough and rolled us.  NOTHING came out of the boat, including the paddles, except the passengers.  We were able to bail her, and we limped to a dock to dry out. The floatation did its job--and this boat still maneuvered well with quite of bit of water in it even in a stiff wind. I was duly impressed with this boat, and was really proud of how well we lashed our load :)

 

Thanks for the pict's and the stories.  What was your lashing system to keep everything in the boat during a roll over?  Your boat there looks to be about as wide as mine but about 1.5 ft longer than mine.  Any thoughts regarding boat length, both longer or shorter than mine?

3:40 p.m. on September 21, 2011 (EDT)
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We lashed everything down with good ratchet straps.  Once we mastered where to put them and how to tension them, NOTHING moved.  We were able to get really good balance in the boat. We were even able to use the extra length of strap as a good tie down for "stuff" like chairs, etc.  The long stuff (we took and extra paddle and we used a stick as a pole to tie the bins to to make carrying them to the campsites easier) we were able to tuck along side the bins, and that stuff stayed put, too.

As far as boat length, this is the only canoe I have ever put any significant time in.  I was a little worried about such a big boat and two middle aged ladies handling it, but this boat only pulls a 3" draft with just us in it, and maybe 4 loaded.

The only time the length was an issue was when we turned perpendicular to the wind. Even then, my friend was able to steer it.  We DID struggle in a 30 mph headwind...it took us HOURS to go 6 miles because the wind and chop were so bad, but that day everyone going into the wind struggled, even the 10 HP outboards on the rentals boats.

I would say stability and smoothness on the water combined with the general use of your boat will tell you if your canoe will do for you what you want.  we were really fortunate that this used boat is designed to be really amulti-purpose, high utilitarian design.  We really couldn't ask for a better boat for what we use it for.

It sounds like your canoes will handle big loads (which would be tough to do in just gear unless you are taking party supplies for 30 :)) If the canoes handle well enough, there's no reason why you can't load up and have fun, since canoeing is a great cross of backpacking and car camping. We even took beer one trip, and boxed wine on another--took ice chests...it was LUX in near-wilderness!

4:46 p.m. on September 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Nice. I've been poking my head in this forum now & again, lamenting the fact that it hardly ever sees any action.

Sweet boats apeman. That Coleman is a classic.

I've been trying to find time to put up a trip report from a recent paddling trip up in Lake George NY. My second this year. Was planning on putting it in the trip report section though as it wasn't all paddling.

I love paddling & hiking equally and often combine them as I did on this last trip. There are some places & experiences you just can't get too without the boat. Been using a 16.5 foot Pelican Royalex since I got it about ten years ago and I'm committed to this Winter being the one that I finally make one, or two, that are a little lighter, more performance oriented and certainly prettier. I've always wanted to make a figerglass reinforced, cedar strip canoe, and kayak for that matter and intended to do that first, then a nice ultralight Kevlar job. Though after hauling around the 95 lb'r this Summer, and wanting to do a trip in the Saint Regis Canoe area wilderness of the Northern Adirondacks, I think the Kevlar job will be first. Lots of portages in the Saint Regis....

Here she is up on the shore of our island campsite.
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Not the prettiest girl at the dance, but she takes me to some beautiful places.


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7:56 p.m. on September 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Wow a thread on canoes! 

Considering your questions the keels will help you go straighter. They also hinder your ability to turn fast, although on flatwater it's not really a matter. as for speed, the lighter one might be easier to get up to speed and less hard to keep there, but in the end thatand hull shape are the main criteria for speed. (Not to mention how hard you can paddle;-)

Recently I bought an Esquif Nitro. It's a nice play boat and I cant wait to go put her up in the chops as soon as I can. It's got some flotation bags and a saddle, not to mention the double pump to get water out after or during rapids. Here's a picture. I hope you have a great time out here.


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11:38 p.m. on September 22, 2011 (EDT)
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I've got an Old Town Penobscot 16 that I bought back in 2000 or so, and I love it.   I've used it mostly in the Adirondacks - specifically Little Tupper Lake, once in Maine on some little pond where we camped, once in VT on the Green River reservoir, assorted short trips in KY, and one DOOMED trip down the Dolores River in SW CO (a disaster).   I'm an experienced camper, but still a novice paddler - anything above a ripple freaks me out, and Little Tupper Lake was a challenge when the wind picked up.  Still, I want to get out and paddle this boat more.  It makes for far more pleasant camping when you don't have to carry everything on your back.

Boundary Waters is definitely on my bucket list, but not until I'm more confident in my paddling skills.

 

KD

2:55 p.m. on September 25, 2011 (EDT)
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JerseyWreckDiver said: "Sweet boats apeman. That Coleman is a classic."  Thanks.  I ended getting the Colman at a grauge sale about 10+ years ago for $75 and the other one I traded some stuff for.  There both heavy and big mostly two or three people boats, so I'll have to put some real weight up front to make them go.  I figure a large cooler full of beer will work. 

Louis-Alexis said: "Recently I bought an Esquif Nitro."  Nice boat.  I'll be looking for a smaller lighter boat this winter as mine are large and it's hard to find people to go do anything.

oruacat2 said: "............and one DOOMED trip down the Dolores River in SW CO (a disaster)."  I grew up in Colorado and fished some on the Dolores river.  Pretty country.  Did you know that's where Osprey backapcks started up?  Here is a quote regarding that (below).  Would you care tos sare your Dolores River experiance or is it sill to painfull?

"By 1987, Osprey started selling  wholesale and Mike de legated much of the sewing to seven or eight  employees while he focused on design. As the demand for the  great-fitting packs increased, Mike and business partner/wife Diane Wren  found themselves in Dolores, Colorado, population 864, the exact day a  local Gore-Tex factory was closing down. Soon after, they rented the  8,000-square-foot building – originally built in the 1920s as Ford  Model-T factory."

quote taken from http://www.ospreypacks.com/en/web/osprey_history
 
 

8:58 p.m. on September 25, 2011 (EDT)
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I know what you mean Apeman. If you want a nice solo canoe that can handle white waters also, check out the esquif "Vertige". It's their version of the go anywhere do anything boat. You can transform it into a double person easy white-water playboat easily. I dont know much about other companies. Here in the Quebec rivers 60% to 70% of the boats we see are from Esquif.

6:10 p.m. on September 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Apeman(and others) much of what has been discussed here, has answers in the canoeing articles that Alicia is putting up. OK, so any craft that allows you to get out on the water is a good thing. That said, you sometimes get what you pay for in canoes, and sometimes you pay too much for what you get. No canoe does it all. There are some really sub standard canoes that can't really compare to ones that are made well and of a similar price. Your Coleman is one of these. They are often hogged badly, even from new, making them extremely difficult to paddle. Second gear is right, tying gear in is the norm for many paddlers, though less so in eastern Canadian lake paddlers(a regional argument) DO NOT use ratchet straps to tie gear in or to tie boats onto a car. You will permanently damage your boat. You simply don't need that kind of tension.

8:32 p.m. on September 26, 2011 (EDT)
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The Esquif Nitro is a great little playboat. However, apeman, it sounds as if you might be considering something like the Nitro as a solo boat. Nitros and the like are purely playboats, made for paddling whitewater. Their extreme rocker makes them track poorly and they are subject to wind. As well, they have limited capacity for even whitewater tripping. Also regarding capacity, you mention your Sears having a 700 pound capacity and the Coleman slightly less. Always take these terms with a  grain of salt. Some manufacturers will give a capacity of a canoe with six inches of free board, others will give capacity just before the gunnels are under water. Six inches of freeboard is pretty minimal. Even with a relatively shallow canoe, that means you will have six or more inches of canoe in the water.

I just returned from the Finlay River in northern BC and we had much more free board, even though we were loaded with 2+ weeks of food and gear.
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5:57 a.m. on September 27, 2011 (EDT)
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Erich :

Thanks for the pictures, comments and advice.  Actually I have no idea what kind of boat I would be looking at in regards to a smaller "solo" boat.  I know I will want a larger boat than the Esquif Nitro but I'm not sure on the size as of yet.  All I know is that the boats I have would be great for long portages in which I would be hauling losts of gear and people, as well as the ability to hook a 5 hp motor to them.  I'm also sure that I'd like to have a much smaller boat that is solo (maybe white water capable) rather than the 2-3 people boots.  Before I do anything I have to get back out on the water as it's been a long time since I've paddled and decide what and how I'd like to boat.  I usually do things alone for a lot of reasons, mostly because everyone I know works so much and far to hard so that they have no time to do anything on the side.  I almost never go out on the weekends as the rest of the world is out and it ends up being a crush of people, so that is another reason I'm usually doing my thing alone as I usually go out Mon.-Fri. so, again it seems I'm on my own.  As far as a smaller boat goes, I'll start my search by doing some reading the "canoeing articles that Alicia is putting up".  Then after that I'll start my search based on whats avaliable on Craigslist in the middle of winter as that's when I'll be able to score a really nice boat for super cheap.   Cause ya know, who buys a canoe in the middle of winter? 

2:01 p.m. on September 27, 2011 (EDT)
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Apeman, where are you located? Hemlock, Wenonah, and Clipper, as well as others, all make great solo boats for tripping. You may have misspoken regarding portages. Portages are when you carry the canoe over land, not the paddling trips themselves. Your boats are not set up for portaging and would be heavy for them.

2:37 p.m. on September 27, 2011 (EDT)
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@ Erich :  I live in Washington State on The Hood Canal.  Rather than explain where I am you might Google my zip code 98380.

Yes I misspoke.  I didn't get any sleep last night and was up all night as I quite often have insomina and jsut did not catch my mistake.  As many have noticed, my proof reading skills are very poor sometimes.  Yes, my boats are way to heavy to portage, even for two people.

5:06 p.m. on September 27, 2011 (EDT)
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Apeman, I would also pore over canoeing magazines and articles.  I have read some good guidelines about the length/draft/weight etc. that a good canoeist can handle solo. 

I am hoping to get up to Camano Island. etc in my canoe. I hear it's just heaven to get in the water on a nice day :)

8:47 p.m. on September 27, 2011 (EDT)
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Apeman and Second gear. I am in Seattle and a member of Paddle Trails Canoe Club. We have over 100 scheduled trips a year, as well as classes. The Classes include Moving Water, Whitewater 101, 201, a Safety Clinic, and Swiftwater Rescue Class. As relative newbies, I would encourage you both to join, if for no other reasons to get some good instruction and meet like minded boaters. We adhere to strict safety guidelines, including three boats minimum for rivers and some flatwater trips, floatation for rivers, etc. We also have boats to loan from some members, for those whose boats are not suited to a particular type of paddling.

4:22 p.m. on September 28, 2011 (EDT)
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@ Erich :  Thanks for showing me the light.  I checked out Paddle Trails Canoe Club and it looks like something that I might just want to get involved in.  I could not however find out if there are any begining classes in the forseeable future.  The other problem I have is that to get a canoe to the other side of the sound requires me to take my truck on the ferry and that get's might expensive.  I can see ways around that but we don't need to talk about that until I find out more info regarding classes.  I know how to paddle but it's been many years and It would be quite fun to take a class and hang with a bunch of newbies like myself.  I'd like to maybe get into white water canoeing later on as I was into white water rafting/fishing when I live in two blocks from the Arkansas rive in Buena Vista CO.  I will look into joining and taking a class(s) but I have to make sure I don't have to much on my plate as I'm now planning a trip to Thailand.  As this will be a six week trip it appears that it will take a lot of prep.  Thanks again for the invite and the suggestion of joining like minded paddlers.  I really do want to get out on the water and do some long trips.

12:34 a.m. on September 29, 2011 (EDT)
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The bags I have take up most of the center of the boat between the two paddlers, so it's really just for day trips where you are carrying very little gear.

For weeklong paddles, I put everything into large duffle bags. The soft sided approach lets to slides them into position and then lash them under the thwarts or crossbars. This works well when the bags are big enough so that they naturally kind of wedge into place.

It also makes unloading easy so there are no small items dropping into the water or mud and you can easily move a couple large duffles up to your campsite.

11:50 a.m. on September 29, 2011 (EDT)
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Apeman, the formal classes begin in the spring. However, informally some of us do take folks out on Lake Washington or other places. This helps us assess their skills and be best able to determine what classes or trips might fit them. Often, newbies use what is called the "goon"stroke(finish with thumb upward) rather than a proper J for steering, or changing sides to keep the boat going straight. We work on things like the paddler's box, torso rotation, boat trim, draws, prys, sweeps, cross draws, static strokes(Dufeks) in the water recoveries, etc. We also talk about boat outfitting with things such as floating painters, tie downs in the bottom of the boat rather than the thwarts, knee pads etc. If you join the club, you can post that you are looking for some instruction and we can find a time that works.

1:43 a.m. on September 30, 2011 (EDT)
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@ CapitolaDan :  Thanks for the info.  I like the idea of using duffel bags.  I'd like to talk with you further regarding motors.  I would think they could be handy at the end of the day, just as you said.

@ Erich:  Thanks for letting me know that.  My Dad is comming out for a week or two and I've decided that well take atrip out to eastern washington to see our property out there and then well take a trip arounnd the Olympic Pinnisula or down the Oregon coast.  After that I'll most likely join as I really am a newbie.  I've been on the water in years past but I don't really know the differnt strokes and have no idea about long idstance canoeing.  I have much to learn.  Do you guys go out much during the winter?  The weather can be brutal, but some do not let that stop them.  I would think that one could use a canoe during salmon season to get a little bit away form the shore fishing.  I'm not taking about going out far.  Even if you go out 100 yards, thats further than most can cast.  I do realize that salmon season is at the beginig of the time of year where the weather can change in an instant.

11:37 a.m. on September 30, 2011 (EDT)
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Apeman(and Dan) duffel bags may be a reference to soft sided bags. Frame packs either internal or external do not work well in canoes. My articles explain this in more detail, however, nearly every experience canoe tripper uses some type of Duluth style pack, either the originals or one of the synthetics like Granite Gear. With the addition of a waterproof liner, the outside is just an abrasion layer. An alternative that a few use is large dry bags with pack straps. Because there is no abrasion layer, unless you use a liner, holes will develop and your gear will get wet.

Paddle Trails runs over 100 trips a year and we do have the advantage in the PNW of paddling all year long. ALWAYS dress for the water, not the air temperature. That is actually easier in the winter. Most of us wear dry suits in the winter, though a few will still be using wet suits this time of year. Flatwater trips can be done with extra warm clothing in case of an upset. FYI, you will get wet paddling a canoe, and you will eventually swim.

5:18 p.m. on September 30, 2011 (EDT)
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Erich said:

Apeman(and Dan) duffel bags may be a reference to soft sided bags. Frame packs either internal or external do not work well in canoes. My articles explain this in more detail, however, nearly every experience canoe tripper uses some type of Duluth style pack, either the originals or one of the synthetics like Granite Gear. With the addition of a waterproof liner, the outside is just an abrasion layer. An alternative that a few use is large dry bags with pack straps. Because there is no abrasion layer, unless you use a liner, holes will develop and your gear will get wet.

Paddle Trails runs over 100 trips a year and we do have the advantage in the PNW of paddling all year long. ALWAYS dress for the water, not the air temperature. That is actually easier in the winter. Most of us wear dry suits in the winter, though a few will still be using wet suits this time of year. Flatwater trips can be done with extra warm clothing in case of an upset. FYI, you will get wet paddling a canoe, and you will eventually swim.

 Erich,  Regarding dry bags.  What sizes would you start out with.  As winter is comming on dry bags will be going for super cheap on Craigslist and Ebay for the next 4 or 5 months.  What bags do you like both size wise and make and model wise.  As far as a abrasion layer I could use military duffel bags which I can get for $5 each, yes?

Regarding dry suits/wet sutis, the Goodwill that I go to has sometimes has up to a dozen wet and dry suits at a time in stock, for silly cheap.  Can you lead me to a web site to start to begin to learn about how to fit them, or if there are just some basic guide lines that I need to follow when trying them on.  I can take them home and I have a week to return them so I can wear them at home to assess there comfort as well?  Are there any brands/makes that I should look for?  I know models will depend mearly on what fit's me.   Any thoughts on buying in regards to the fact that I need to drop about 15 lbs around the mid section?  Should I buy thin and just suck it up and be uncomfortable until I lose the weight using this along with other things to get my butt in gear to lose the weight?  Or should I buy to size and then re buy when I lose the weight?  Thanks.

9:31 p.m. on September 30, 2011 (EDT)
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For wet suits and dry suits, bear in mind that the ones you'll see at Goodwill will be diving suits for the most part. Paddling dry suits are not designed to be deeply submerged, and are more comfortable. As well, if they are at Goodwill, they will probably be worn out...they will leak. Wet suits are a bit easier, though they too will probably be for diving. We usually use farmer john styles as they don't bind around the arms. You could cut off the arms. As well, some folks cut a hole behind the knees so it is easier to kneel. Wet suits need to be tight to function. Dry suits it doesn't matter. In a paddling dry suit, most of us go for the goretex feet. The alternative is latex feet. Ankle gaskets are a PITA. Don't waste your money on a non breathable dry suit. Kokatat makes both goretex and tropos fabric suits. NRS also has them. The latex gaskets are the achilles heel of dry suits. They degrade with UV exposure as well as with sunscreen contamination. Putting on a dry suit with the gaskets is a trick. Do not pull your head through. You can pull the neck gasket off the suit. They are only glued on. Grasp the gasket with both hands and spread it, then pull your head through. Putting it on, arms first and then head. Off is the reverse. Gaskets will be tight enough to keep the water out. They can be stretched if they are too tight, or trimmed carefully. That is best left to someone who has done it before. Gaskets can be replaced.

Putting a dry bag inside a military duffel will work...until you have to carry your gear on a portage. That's why Duluth packs work so well. Portages are usually fairly short, a km or so at the most. You don't need a pack that is comfortable for a hundred kms. Also frame packs hinder stuffing gear in, and also stowing in the canoe. Duluth style packs are just enormous bags with pack straps. You need a packing system that allows you to carry nearly all your gear across in one load. Then you go back for the canoe and paddles, and maybe a day pack. That is why a multitude of small dry bags to carry, can be an issue. You will want something that is quite large. You get to the portage, grab your pack, stuff in your PFD, bailer, sponge, throw bag, etc. in, and start walking.

1:31 a.m. on October 1, 2011 (EDT)
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You could try a barrel with a beluga carrying strap. They in different capacity. I use a sixry liter or two thirty's. There bomb proof and waterproof to the point that I havent been able to let water in after continuous use.

1:19 p.m. on October 1, 2011 (EDT)
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Louis-Alexis is correct, barrels are an alternative. I use them for food to keep smells down. However, I believe apeman is looking for inexpensive alternatives and while barrels are relatively inexpensive, the harnesses are not. Barrels are quite rare out here in the NW. The easiest source is Western Canoeing in Abbotsford, or ordering online.

9:52 p.m. on October 1, 2011 (EDT)
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If you want an inexpensive (of course that depend) barrel harness give me shout. Over here we can get them around at 30$ for basics ones and 60$ for a really good one made by Beluga. Barrels go for 20$. In Quebec a seal line 50l dry bag (the basic ones without the nifty straps) are around 50$, so most people use barrels. I'd be happy to help you out if I can.

11:23 a.m. on October 2, 2011 (EDT)
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Louis-Alexis, thank you for the offer. Shipping the barrels might an issue of cost. That's about the same price we pay for harnesses. Seal line bags can be had pretty cheap out here as they are made here. As well, there is another company that also makes dry bags here. Both have end of season sales, and sell seconds, which are good ways to get decent bags for little money.

1:58 p.m. on October 2, 2011 (EDT)
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Lots of canoers were using 5 gallon buckets in their canoes. I supposed it's akin to using bucket paniers on a bike.  

Probably 75% of the boats we saw up on Ross Lake were using the bucket system. If you are just looking to get out and keep dry, that might be a cheap place to start.  Then you can save your pennies and replace them one dry bag at a time.

We just started off using tubs.  I might even be interested in looking into ice chests as they are more water tight than tubs. When we dumped, we did get water into our gear, but we had plastic bagged all of the important stuff like tent, sleeping bags, etc. so we were OK.  But, we ARE looking into refining our system :)

With any activitiy/hobby, you can sink enormous amounts of money into your pursuit.  I have found if I find an entry level place, I can go from there using tips and tricks along the way until I decide if I invest in better equipment and build from there.

2:27 p.m. on October 3, 2011 (EDT)
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Five gallon buckets are an inexpensive alternative. The snap on lids that are standard are difficult to remove repeatedly. Snap on lids that have a screw on center piece work well as the are watertight. Western Canoeing sells the lids. They are a pain to portage, and difficult to stow in the boat. Second gear, Canadian Tire sells very large heavy duty zip locks that I have used as waterproof liners.

I agree that it is possible to spend enormous amounts of money investing, when it may be possible to get in relatively cheaply by using used olive barrels, zip locks, etc. There is a caveat to this. On routes with heavy travel by newbies, I have encountered groups who were unprepared for the conditions. In some cases, this only took the fun out of the trip, which could have turned them off to canoeing. I have unfortunately encountered groups who were cold and wet and needed help. Canoeing is a wet sport. You need to keep your gear dry and it needs to be a reliable system.

1:39 a.m. on October 20, 2011 (EDT)
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Erich said:

Louis-Alexis is correct, barrels are an alternative. I use them for food to keep smells down. However, I believe apeman is looking for inexpensive alternatives and while barrels are relatively inexpensive, the harnesses are not. Barrels are quite rare out here in the NW. The easiest source is Western Canoeing in Abbotsford, or ordering online.

I've been giving this some thought.  The barrals are cheap but the harnesses are expensive unless I get some one to send them to me from far away there by raising the price(s) for them. 

Here is the solution I've come up with.

So there I am in the Goodwill with this portaging thing stuck in my head when I ran into this Grant back pack.  Not a great backpack in and of itself but still.  It might solve the problem of portaging anything  in regards to dry bags and barrel type dry containers and even coolers as it has a lower shelf to hold up even heavy items.
DSC04974.jpg

One thing though, as I was standing there contemplating it's use. Why, I thought, did it have a double reinforced shelf? Hummmmmmmmmmmm............ Once I picked it up the bottom folded out but made no sense as to what would be the propose of such a thing. I stood there and turned it all around and upside down many times. I had given up finally and set it on the floor to walk away cause I'm not going to buy something I don't understand when I turned around as saw it like this.
DSC04975.jpg
Well dang, I guess one needs to be smarter than a folding chair. As it had a sticker price of only $5.99 and I had a 30% of coupon I figured that this was as cheap as it get's for the beginning of my portaging system. I will now look for a few buckets, barrels, and or dry bags.

11:30 a.m. on October 20, 2011 (EDT)
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It is hard to beat that price. If it is strong enough, without the bag, it would hold a barrel or two. The addition of a tump would help. A caveat; don't be tenmtped to go fro more than one like this. The reason that canoe packs are soft, frameless, is because they stow easily in the canoe. Even 60 liter barrels will rest on their sides across the boat, as if they were designed for it. Good luck with your system and keep us updated.

11:14 p.m. on October 27, 2011 (EDT)
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To help complete my portaging equiptment I found this Seal Line Boundry 115 Liter Dry bag along with this Military duffel bag wich is the larges duffle bag that I have ever seen.  It will easily fit the Seal Line 10 to 12 inches at the top of the bag.  Along with the external frame pack above I will now be able to move my gear land and over sea(lake,river,pond,etc.). Mogh does not understand that he is told to lay in front of the bags to give perspective.
DSC05039.jpg

1:37 p.m. on October 28, 2011 (EDT)
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I'm so very sorry you all had to read that horribly proof read posting. One of my weak points in posting is rereading what I just wrote. My brain just blazes right by the mistakes I make and I only notice the mistakes after reading the post much later sometimes. This was one of those times. Again my apologies. At least the picture came out all right.  ;-}>

1:06 a.m. on October 29, 2011 (EDT)
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Erich said:

Five gallon buckets are an inexpensive alternative. The snap on lids that are standard are difficult to remove repeatedly...

Restaurant supply businesses have an inexpensive lightweight pry designed to open these buckets with ease without damaging the lid.

Ed

1:15 a.m. on October 29, 2011 (EDT)
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apeman said:

DSC05039.jpg

I suggest if you are improvising -and you are- that you prove the validity of your concept on a short day in the field.  Portaging is already a PITA; if your system falls short of being acceptable, it will make you wish you never went out.

Ed

4:48 a.m. on October 29, 2011 (EDT)
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whomeworry said:

apeman said:

DSC05039.jpg

I suggest if you are improvising -and you are- that you prove the validity of your concept on a short day in the field.  Portaging is already a PITA; if your system falls short of being acceptable, it will make you wish you never went out.

Ed

Indeed, As my life seems to be an improvisation-and it is-I will try and prove the validity of my concept on a short day in the field. I do already expect my system fo fall short to some degree as that is a big bag, but like a big backpack I don't have to fill it full (yea right). But being as though I usually end up doing my own thing by myself no one else is inconvenience and I learn and adapt.  ;-}>  In the end I will seek Mogh's expert opinion on the matter.

And yes, as this is a big bag I do expect portaging of any sort to be a PITA as I do with anything and everything I have to portage or carry into the backcountry. Actually I'm hoping that in the future my investments will allow me to afford to have everything either carried into the back country for me, or better yet, air dropped by helicopter if at all possible. But for now I find I must hump it into and around the backcountry myself.

1:59 p.m. on October 29, 2011 (EDT)
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As Ed mentions, the pry available for the standard buckets lids works. However, the Gamma Seal Lids work so much better and seal well, that there is not reason to stay with the standard lid and pry.

https://www.usaemergencysupply.com/emergency_supplies/gamma_seal_lid.htm

1:47 p.m. on December 11, 2011 (EST)
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looks like fun

3:44 p.m. on December 25, 2011 (EST)
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Just found this thread Apeman, interesting thoughts going on here. 

Given your location and that big long body of water you live on, have you thought of doing some saltwater canoeing?  I would think that heading up or down the HC would be a blast.  Obviously a few precautions are in order, know the tides, stay closer to the shore, watch for those stray subs cruising the canal, you know minor stuff like that. :)

As for getting to Seattle, I would NOT recommend trying to paddle across!!  I know you were thinking about it!  :p  But you could take the Winslow or Bremerton(I don't think that's spelled right) Ferry's and then catch a bus to lake union or the U district.  Of course this would involve taking lessons on "their" canoes.

I have been looking at canoes and kayaks for a year or so, but I think I am going to try to make my own.  I really like the Bootlegger  from Guillemot Kayaks, here is a picture of it, it's like a mix between a canoe and a kayak.


image-398.jpg

Here is the link to all the info on it microBootlegger.

It's cedar strip construction with fiberglass glue up.  It should weigh around 43 to 45 lbs when complete.  Not to bad for a 17'+ boat. 

The biggest issue I have with the Kayak design is the lack of back support, but I plan on making a custom seat / back rest to help in this regard.  

Wolfman

2:08 p.m. on December 26, 2011 (EST)
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Wolfman, you are right about back support. Rushton type canoes will often have a seat with back support. This boat being an asymmetrical design will undoubtedly be quite fast. The tumblehome and other design features indicate a boat designed for straight line performance on protected waters.

As well, another word of caution about paddling across Puget Sound. However, it is done regularly in kayaks and canoes. An easy way is to cross from the Bremerton side to Blake Island, then on to Alki. The Washington State Ferry System allows kayaks and canoes on their boats on the car deck and folks often do that to access the San Juan Islands.

10:57 a.m. on December 27, 2011 (EST)
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Erich,

So given this boats design, do you think it would work for coastal waters and areas like the Hood Canal or the islands?  What about coastal rivers, non rapid types?  I like the large cockpit and lines but if it's not the right boat then I could keep looking, or customize the design.  Very interested in your opinion, I have done a lot of looking at designs, and also like the stitch and glue designs, but very little have the large opening.

Maybe I should start a new thread...

Wolfman

9:19 p.m. on December 27, 2011 (EST)
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I hadn't seen a new thread, so I'll respond here. I'm not sure why you are interested in a boat with a large cockpit. However, here are my impressions. In design, it is not unlike a Klepper, Nautirad, or Folboat. However, being more rigid and finer in the ends, and with a lower profile, it will be more subject to waves. The designer says rivers and bays, but marshy bays and slow rivers are different than what we have in the San Juans, Hood Canal and our coastal rivers. It is a pretty little boat, to be sure. I would not hesitate to take it on the Nisqually Delta or the Skagit Flats, especially in summer. I would also be happy to take on the lower Snohomish. For winter, or for the San Juans, I would want something with more buoyant ends and a high coaming, and probably a spray deck. It has a lot of tumblehome, which I am not a big fan of. I think in a following sea, it would be a handful.

If you want something that is not rigid and will sacrifice some speed, the Kleppers are hard to beat. For a rigid and fast boat for a big paddler, Current Designs(once a NW company) makes the Solstice GT Titan. It is a big boat with a  cockpit sized for a large paddler and will accommodate size 14 feet. You might also look at Clipper Canoes' Sea 1, which will, I think, be more capable in open water than the Bootlegger. The late Verlen Kruger was a canoeist who established a number of long distance paddling records. His Loon was a great boat, he modified that to become the Sea Wind, and then modified the latter to become the Dreamcatcher. I suspect that the Bootlegger owes something to Verlen's designs.

12:49 a.m. on December 28, 2011 (EST)
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Thanks for the Info.  I will do some checking on the ones you mentioned.  And hopefully get a new thread or two going this weekend.  Thanks Much!

Wolfman

2:12 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Good info.

1:52 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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I'll also add that the lower rear deck of the Bootlegger is somewhat like the low rear deck of Verlen's Loon. He had some problems with that, which is why he changed the design. With load, Verlen found that the rear deck of the Loon would sometimes be awash and stability suffered.

5:31 p.m. on March 13, 2012 (EDT)
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i ran across this atricle about adapating an external frame pack to portage a kayay with. though it might be of some interest here.

http://www.earthenexposure.com/kayaking/packsystems.htm

looks to me like he might have a few too many adjusting holes in his frame.ymmv

3:16 p.m. on March 19, 2012 (EDT)
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Wolfman said:

Just found this thread Apeman, interesting thoughts going on here. 

Given your location and that big long body of water you live on, have you thought of doing some saltwater canoeing?  I would think that heading up or down the HC would be a blast.  Obviously a few precautions are in order, know the tides, stay closer to the shore, watch for those stray subs cruising the canal, you know minor stuff like that. :)

As for getting to Seattle, I would NOT recommend trying to paddle across!!  I know you were thinking about it!  :p  But you could take the Winslow or Bremerton(I don't think that's spelled right) Ferry's and then catch a bus to lake union or the U district.  Of course this would involve taking lessons on "their" canoes.

I have been looking at canoes and kayaks for a year or so, but I think I am going to try to make my own.  I really like the Bootlegger  from Guillemot Kayaks, here is a picture of it, it's like a mix between a canoe and a kayak.


image-398.jpg

Here is the link to all the info on it microBootlegger.

It's cedar strip construction with fiberglass glue up.  It should weigh around 43 to 45 lbs when complete.  Not to bad for a 17'+ boat. 

The biggest issue I have with the Kayak design is the lack of back support, but I plan on making a custom seat / back rest to help in this regard.  

Wolfman

Hey Wolfman,

Yea,  you hit it right on the head. As I leave my property and drive the 1.7 miles to the bottom of the hill I run into the Hood Canal at the bottom of the hill when I hit the main road. Then for the next 4 or 5 miles I skirt it's edge while going into town which is about 9-10 miles from my property. This got me to thinking that it would be alot of fun to get the canoe(s) out on the water in the spring and or summer. The water during that time is usually very calm as it's inland so to speak. You can see where I am by Googling my zip code 98380. That was of course before I shattered my hip. So now I'm thinking of canoeing much more as it may be along time, if ever, that I will be able to put any meaningful amount of weight on my back. I could however drive my truck with a canoe and much stuff to the waters edge and drag everything to the water for some fun after some more healing.

12:29 p.m. on April 12, 2012 (EDT)
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arrr the classic, looks like fun

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